Content Warning: Graphic Descriptions of Suicide, Depression, Biological Terms, LGBTQ+ Suicide, and Transgenderism
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health, suicide or substance use crisis or emotional distress, reach out 24/7 to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) by dialing or texting 988 or using chat services at suicidepreventionlifeline.org to connect to a trained crisis counselor. You can also get crisis text support via the Crisis Text Line by texting NAMI to 741741.
Suicide is one of the ultimate speculations. Why do people choose it? I, myself, was once one of the people echoing the question why. I remember the first time I had an encounter was when a young fifteen year old at my middle school fell victim to it. It was such a confusing experience for me.
"I don't know understand. Like let's say you have a pimple on your face, it'll be gone by tomorrow. You made a bad grade: there's another chance. Life is so much different beyond fifteen. You're in such a small portion of your life." I listened to my mom's words at the time and do not remember saying much. Perhaps I even agreed. But the complications of suicide is so much greater than pimples on faces, bad grades, friends, family, or toxic relationships. It can be the only way out. The first time I ever wanted to kill myself, I was thirteen. By seventeen, I had police show up to my door on homecoming night after being grounded for participating in a shrieking match with my parents to the point where I thought police might show at my door. I had hung up with a suicide hotline when I felt a little more stable only to see police at my door. I heard the murmur of a walkie talkie outside my window and instantly knew what it was. My father is a police officer and I had come to know the sounds of a police walkie talkie like the back of my hand. I knew it wasn't him though. My mother wept. She said she did not want to see her child hanging from a ceiling fan. Even now, I wince at that sentence. It was such a graphic thing to say at the time and certainly not helpful and such a statement still haunts me to this day. Somehow, it was still about her. How hard it would be on her if I took my life. It had nothing to do with me or the daily pain that I was forced to endure.
Growing up for me was misery. I had a good childhood until I hit about eleven or twelve and that is when it came crashing down. I grew up with three all male neighbors, another neighbor who was a boy, and two brothers. I was the only girl and I did not realize how much I despised being a girl until about fourteen or fifteen. I could not find words to put to it, but I wanted everything they had. I wished I did not have a period, boobs, could stand up to be, play sports as they did, have the father-son dynamic, male friends who I played video games with, a penis, could participate in their inside jokes/games, and that I went through male puberty alongside them. I did not get all that though. Out of my two male cousins close by, two brothers, and all male neighbors I felt I was the only girl within miles.
My parents sent me to private, Christian school and when I could not take it anymore, they homeschooled me. I was often told that I would never be happy, no matter what my parents did, I never seem to be content. This seemed to me to be one of the cruelest of statements. Because the answer was: yes. Perhaps no matter how hard I tried, I would never experience true happiness in my life. That is when it became a little more evident. I could spend seventy more years as sad as I was, alone, unhappy, born in the wrong body, bleeding once a month, and grasping desperately at any mechanism or...I could die.
It became a matter of ethical choice. Drink and substance could only distract me from my pain for so long. i always had some sort of coping mechanisms, when it was younger it was avid worrying, complaining, and ranting. As annoying as coping mechanisms such as this can be it was much better than holding things in, complaining to strangers on the internet, and drinking until I blacked out. I have no outlets now. And this is why I found my resolution. Heaven, the glorious bliss of God had to be better than what I was experiencing, perhaps he would send me back as an animal, as a dog, or better yet, as a boy. There was no re-start button, no start over, no magic pill or magic button that could change my gender, give me a different childhood, different memories, chromosomes, or magic wand that I could wave to get a second chance. There was no start-over. There was no do-over button. There was an end button though. I was fascinated by death and sometimes I still am. I looked at people like Mac Miller, Avicii, and Amy Winehouse who lost their to substance. In my mind, they died having a good time. I know now that there is not anything cool or remotely funny about addiction. It is isolating and it is sad, it is keeling over a toilet dry heaving trying to get vomit out, your stomach twisting in knots, doubled over in pain, tripping out and scratching at your skin. It is not fun or cute, but I liked alcohol and I hated life. So it seemed a fine compromise.
Slowly, but surely it stops being an "I hate life, I am so sad" thing and more of an "Is it even ethical for me to be alive?" type of thing. I could not stop my body from doing the natural, biological functions that I hated so much, bleeding, my thoughts, and the concept of getting old in a body I wanted to shed the skin of was something I logically could never go through with. I had no control over life, what gender I was born, what state, to what parents, but I did have control over when I died.
I just wanted a button, to press it and to be transported right back in the womb and start over. This time, as a boy. I wanted a do-over button. I was unlucky in life. I always had been. Me being alive was a freak accident that was not really supposed to occur; My father's first child was a son. A son, a boy. The very first life my dad brought in was everything I ever wanted to be. And he died. It still kills me. Someone was given everything I could ever hope for in life, just to pass shortly after. It also showed me that the firstborn can indeed be male, I just was not granted that. However, I believe if the dynamic would have been first born boy, second born girl I would have been second born, As I have said many times before, I am unlucky. I am almost chronically unlucky in life. I am so unlucky that if it did not ruin and destroy my life, plague me at every moment of the day, and threaten to kill me, it might actually be funny.
So it was my own version of the big blue "start over" button that I wanted to push so badly. It was one of the few solutions to the problem that I could come up with. I saw many letters, paragraphs, articles, and notes arguing that point. It said things like you'll never stay up late laughing with your friends, go to a concert, get married, see a sunset, drive fast with the music loud, or live to see any of your dreams come to fruition.
I am not in any way even remotely justifying suicide. It is destruction, it is heartbreaking, it is gut wrenching, and I suppose when I get down to it I simply can't deny that it is wrong. It is abuse of the person you should love above anyone else: yourself. However, with this abuse, this pain, this grief, this gut wrenching stinging blow that life continues to give you, things such as suicide become ethical. Ethically, I am not going to continue this way for fifty more years. I simply can not. When life itself seems like a sick joke, when you were seemingly set up for failure upon the moment of your arrival: the moment of your birth, it becomes hard to find many reasons to stay.
I am still here. And many others who struggle as I do, who look at death in the face every day and decide not to fall into its coaxing convictions are still fighting. I keep fighting, but I am tired. The overused "you will